J.C. Penney announced Monday that it will introduce curbside pickup services at 50 more U.S. stores. The company's Style on the Go program will be available to consumers in California, Florida, Kentucky, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and West Virginia, according to a press release.
Online shoppers can choose either the retailer's free same day pickup or ship to store option. Customers then pull up to a reserved parking space and call or text a number posted on the reserved parking sign with their order number to receive their J.C. Penney order.
The retailer decided to expand after its Style on the Go Curbside Pickup pilot was "successful," per the company statement, and noted that customers responded well to the speed and ease of the experience.
The expansion of the Style on the Go feature comes as J.C. Penney has been working to turn itself around. The company's Chief Customer Officer Shawn Gensch left the company last week after less than a year at the retailer. The department store also announced the closure of six more stores at the same time it reported a 7.7% decline in fourth-quarter sales and a nearly 20% drop in operating income.
The financial sector has kept an eye on J.C. Penney as it works to get back on track. Fitch Ratings downgraded J.C. Penney deeper into junk territory in fall 2019 after ratings firm S&P Global did so, too. In December, J.C. Penney regained compliance with the New York Stock Exchange, but was warned at the end of January that it was once again at risk of being delisted because its stock price traded below $1 per share for 30 days.
Regarding its Style on the Go expansion, the retailer noted that it's following its "plan for renewal," which is aimed at increasing traffic, streamlining the customer experience, centering merchandise around lifestyle, cutting costs and building a results-minded culture.
"We continue to make shopping at our stores even more convenient as we adapt to our customers' needs so they can shop when, where, and how they want," Jim DePaul, executive vice president of stores, said in a statement.
Other companies have introduced curbside pickup initiatives to lure consumers seeking convenience and build loyalty. Retailers like Target and CVS have experimented with curbside pickup programs. Target, in particular, has pointed to its drive-up, store pickup, and Shipt services to accelerating growth. In its report for fiscal year 2019, the retailer said same-day services grew more than 90%, delivering nearly three-quarters of the company's comp digital sales growth. Target and Walmart are among the most popular retailers that offer buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS) services to customers, according to Coresight Research.